Two NYPD officers from Long Island were shot as bullets flew in a predawn showdown Saturday between a fleeing gunman and eight officers in Brooklyn, authorities said.
Leading police on a car chase through the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, the suspect sped the wrong way down Malcolm X Boulevard and rammed a patrol car at about 3:20 a.m., NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said.
As officers converged at the scene, a shootout erupted. The suspect, Jamal Funes, 34, suffered multiple gunshot wounds as he sat in his car, Bratton said.
Bullets also hit two plainclothes officers — identified by family members as William Reddin of Lynbrook and Andrew Yurkiw of Wantagh — who were in an unmarked car behind the suspect’s vehicle, the commissioner said.
The officers were awake and in stable condition after the incident, Mayor Bill de Blasio said after visiting them at Kings County Hospital Center.
“Thank God both these officers will be making a full recovery, and thank God for what they do for us,” the mayor said.
Bratton said investigators were piecing together events in what he called a “complex crime scene,” including who fired first and why.
It was not immediately known if Reddin and Yurkiw were shot by the suspect or fellow officers.
Police recovered a .357 Magnum revolver and five spent shell casings from the front seat of Funes’ car, officials said.
Yurkiw, a 3-year veteran, suffered blunt-force trauma when a bullet struck his bulletproof vest, police said. He is the son of a retired NYPD detective whose vest saved him in a 1989 line-of-duty shooting, according to Bratton and news accounts.
“It’s just amazing that it happened many years ago to the father, and now the same thing’s happened to the son,” family friend Marty Gately said Saturday as he visited the Yurkiws in Elmont.
Police said Reddin, a 9-year veteran, was shot in the hip. He grew up in Malverne and lives in Lynbrook with his pregnant wife and their two sons, ages 3 and 5, his sister Jennifer Reddin-Eliou said.
“I know that he loves his job. He is in a unit that focuses on taking guns off the streets, and that’s all he’s dedicated to doing,” Reddin-Eliou said.
Funes, who police believe is from New Jersey, was in critical condition at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center late Saturday, Bratton said.
Relatives say the suspect has a history of mental illness, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation.
The shooting came about two weeks after NYPD Officers Diara Cruz and Patrick Espeut were shot and wounded on patrol in a public housing stairwell by a gunman who killed himself soon after.
Bratton said Saturday’s chase began after two uniformed housing officers heard a gunshot near Quincy Street and Malcolm X Boulevard. They reported seeing Funes point a revolver at them and flee in a car, and radioed for help in a pursuit, the commissioner said.
Eight officers in three vehicles were chasing Funes when he crashed at the corner of Lexington Avenue and Malcolm X, Bratton said.
Reddin was awake and able to speak shortly after the shooting, his sister said.
“He was shaken up but looking to reassure us that everything was OK,” Reddin-Eliou said.
Yurkiw, a 2005 graduate of Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park, was a defensive lineman on Stony Brook University’s football team, according to the school’s website.
His father, Paul Yurkiw, suffered minor injuries 27 years ago when a motorist fired three shots into his bulletproof vest, Newsday reported in 1989. Yurkiw had stopped to help the motorist who appeared to be stranded on the side of the Van Wyck Expressway in Queens.
Paul Yurkiw declined to comment Saturday. The shooter in his attack is up for parole in March, according to a statement the NYPD detectives’ union released Feb. 4.
Victoria Sferlazza, a neighbor, said she watched Andrew Yurkiw grow up in her Elmont neighborhood and follow in his father’s footsteps as an NYPD officer.
“I’m so glad he’s OK,” she said. “I hope he’s well enough to walk the streets around here like he did when he was a little kid. He’s a good man.”
With Matthew Chayes, Anthony M. DeStefano, Candice Ruud and Darran Simon